This past weekend, 3 of my friends and I headed to the Interior Design Show in Toronto. It was definitely interesting and inspiring. Sunday is my favourite time to go because they usually host some of (in my opinion) the best design personalities. Last year it was Tommy Smythe and this year it was Sarah Richardson!! Sarah gave a great talk, touching on her new fabric line and elaborating on some tips that she had previously shared at Blogpodium….
Infuse history and soul: Sarah advises to not erase the history of where you come from. Embrace some of the old and original in your house and infuse it with some new elements. If you live in a new home, you can still add some character into that home. Sarah did this on her show Real Potential by purchasing 6 library cabinet doors and installed them to add some historic character. She also added chair rails and wallpaper to give some texture. You can see she took a basic dining room and made it feel much more inviting.
images via HGTV
Embrace your budget: Sarah says that budget is a dirty word, no one really wants to talk about it but really you have to be attainable to your budget and you have to be honest with how much you can spend. When Sarah is working on a show, she has no time to extend herself to wait for more money to come in because they have to shoot that room and leave the homeowner with a finished realization of design. She has to figure out how to manage the budget right down to the flowers in the vase. She doesn’t want to have anything half-done. She says It’s not about where you shop, it’s how you use it. This is why she is frequents the antique shops to find pieces to incorporate into the rooms. In this bathroom (shown below), she found the cabinet at Pier 1 Imports for less than $200 and turned it into a vanity. The mirror was a freebie from a set of furniture they broke up in a different room. This bathroom was featured 4 times in 4 different international magazines over 8 years! You can certainly have some fun with your budget.
Image via Sarah Richardson Design
Be adaptable: You have to be able to experiment, change, and do something new. The world of design moves quickly so you have to be prepared to experiment and most importantly have fun.
I’m not one to follow trends in design but if something catches your eye online or in a magazine, don’t be afraid to try something new. One easy way to make a change is to use paint – you can paint a piece of furniture or just paint the walls a colour you have been dreaming about! If you hate it, it is not that hard or costly to fix.
Always be inspired: SR is inspired by different things everywhere she goes and everywhere she looks. Remember that it is your home, it should be filled with elements you love, things that make you feel relaxed and happy.
I love this because it is easy to be inspired. I feel like I can sit down with a cup of tea (or a glass of wine), flip through a couple of design magazines and be inspired. It could be just the smallest thing but I will mark that page or take a picture of it to help with a current or future project. I was inspired by a cover of Style At Home magazine in 2011 when we were renovating our sunroom. I loved the yellow & grey color palette and the mix of geometric prints.
On the main floor of the design show, Sarah had a booth. Sarah & Tommy covered a space of about 100 sq. ft. with her fabrics, it was very impressive! When we first went by her booth, Tommy Smythe was there! Of course we had to get a picture with him. Last time my friend Michelle and I saw Tommy was at the Christie Antique Show. Of course I felt the need to remind him of this, I kind of felt stalkerish.
Sarah’s space received the award for best booth design!
After Sarah’s talk I headed over to her booth for one last look and ended up getting a picture with her! It was really awkward though… I was standing there, she looked at me and I just said “Hi Sarah” then awkwardly added “Can I get a picture with you?” lol yikes! I wish I could have prepared something better to say but I really didn’t plan on meeting her!
On to other designers… I loved what Cocoon did with their space, this was the debut of Aerin Lauder’s home collection. See that table? well it’s all yours for $17,000!!
How cute is this kitchen? Kid-Chen makes one of a kind pieces with Canadian maple plywood and non-toxic paint. What a great concept!
I enjoyed Urban Barn’s display, especially the bedroom.
Each year, Andrew Richard Designs unveils their new collection. I always love seeing what they come up with and just dream of what it would be like if my backyard looked like this.
Can’t wait to see what next year brings!